The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III announced that it continues to “improve upon its engagement with the private sector, an important partner in responding to and recovering from disasters,” and that “in support of this partnership, FEMA Region III has created a new webpage dedicated to the Regional Business Emergency Operations Center (RBEOC), a regional capability for engaging with industry representatives and sharing information between public and private sectors.”
The mission of RBEOC is to formalize and enhance two-way information sharing between public and private sector stakeholders regarding emergency management matters during the disasters.
“The RBEOC provides a crucial mechanism to coordinate with the private sector during disasters, allowing us to engage directly with industry, share information and work together to help survivors and communities recover faster,” said FEMA Region III Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney.
FEMA said, “By providing information on the RBEOC and ways to get involved, Region III continues to expand its capabilities to work with and in support of the private sector.”
The goal of RBEOC is to coordinate with companies with regional interests in the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia during disaster response and recovery and other events on a regional level.
The Papal Visit to the United States in 2015, for example, represented the first activation of RBEOC and participation by FEMA members, and served to validate its functions.
In addition to the benefits of coordinating resources and capabilities, as well as two-way information sharing, FEMA said, “RBEOC fills a critical role in our operational exercises. FEMA provides opportunities for virtual and in-person participation, and it represents an essential component in FEMA’s improved collaboration with industry.”
FEMA Region III’s next exercise is in early May 2017, “so private sector organizations who have not joined the RBEOC yet need to do so swiftlyin order to receive important exercise information,” the agency stressed.
The RBEOC website includes links to two critical documents, including a link to the Overview and Membership Form. Membership in RBEOC is completely voluntary.
Photo: Private and public sector representatives discuss the impact of the scenario and next steps during FEMA Region III’s Private Sector Table Top Exercise.